As you know, we’ve been part of the Cape Ann Fresh Catch fish CSA and been very happy with it. We signed up again this winter for alternating shares of Maine shrimp one week, and whatever the daily catch is fish-wise the next (usually a white fish like cod, flounder, haddock, or pollock). We switched to the more manageable smaller-sized share (a 5-lb. bag of whole shrimp or one 5 lb. whole fish, which yields about 2 lbs. of fillets, per week). The children absolutely love it. Now that I’ve gotten faster at filleting, I’m able to process the fish and get dinner on the table in about an hour as long as I keep things simple. (The shrimp is another story.)
Husband caught me admiring last week’s cod, with its bright, shiny scales and clear, coppery eyes with a golden rim around the pupil.
Him: What? Do you want to make out with it?
What can I say? It was a particularly beautiful fish that filleted cleanly. How could I possibly do it justice? I’ll tell you how: by pan-frying it gently, deglazing the pan with white wine, simmering in some capers, mounting with butter (get your mind out of the gutter, it's a FISH), and finishing it with the juice of a lemon and a sprinkling of parsley. Serve over buttered spaghetti with maybe some kale on the side, it’s like fish piccata. So simple and so good.
Next week, fish simmered in a fragrant Indian-spiced red sauce.
Cod with Lemon-Caper Butter
I like to keep the skin on thin fillets so the fish doesn’t fall apart too easily.
1½ lbs. cod, flounder, or sole fillets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup flour
½ cup white wine
¼ cup capers, drained
3 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, spread flour on a plate. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour. Add fish to the hot pan and cook until opaque in the center, a few minutes per side for thin fillets. Transfer to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Add wine to skillet and deglaze, scraping up browned bits. Add capers and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Whisk in butter, one piece at a time, allowing each piece to melt before adding the next. Off the heat, whisk in lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over fish to serve. Serves 4-6.
Source: Adapted from Legal Sea Foods.